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Tenant Under Expired Lease Cannot Require Return of Security Deposit as a Condition of Surrendering Possession of Real Property

Upon expiration of the term of a lease, the tenant is required to vacate and surrender possession of the premises to the landlord (unless the lease provides otherwise such as where the lease contains an automatic renewal provision). A tenant cannot require return of the security deposit as a condition of surrendering possession of the premises. The landlord is entitled to 21 days after the tenant vacates to account for the security deposit and return any unused portion. (See, Civil Code section 1950.5) If the tenant fails to surrender possession of the premises upon expiration of the term, the landlord is entitled to file an unlawful detainer (eviction) action against the tenant without further notice to recover possession of the premises, holdover damages (the daily fair market rental value for each day the tenant remains in possession of the premises), court costs and, if the lease contains an attorney’s fee provision, reasonable attorney’s fees.

For further information, please contact Wallace, Richardson, Sontag & Le, LLP at (949) 748-3600; website: 

The law firm of Wallace, Richardson, Sontag & Le, LLP represents landlords, property management companies, institutional and private lenders, employers and insurance companies throughout the State of California in real estate, business and employment litigation. The information provided herein is for general interest only and should not be relied upon or construed as legal advice. 

© 2015 Wallace, Richardson, Sontag & Le, LLP.

June 22, 2015 | Landlord-Tenant Law |